US President Joe Biden has signed a new executive order that aims to ensure safety and equity in the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools. The order establishes new safety standards and regulations for AI technologies, marking a significant step forward in increasing oversight in this field.
The executive order sets forth a series of safety assessments that all AI tools must adhere to, with a focus on developing safe, secure and trustworthy AI. It introduces consumer protections and emphasizes the importance of ensuring that AI respects equity and civil rights.
Under the new law, companies developing foundational models that pose a serious risk to national security, national economic security, or public health and safety will be required to notify the government of their activities. They will also need to share the results of any red-team safety tests conducted. Notably, these requirements are expected to apply to future models rather than existing ones.
Additionally, the executive order mandates that the Department of Energy and Department of Homeland Security establish standards to prevent the malicious use of AI tools, such as engineering biological, radiological, nuclear, or cyber attacks. The Department of Health and Human Services is tasked with evaluating potentially harmful AI-related healthcare practices, while the Department of Commerce will develop guidelines for AI watermarking and protecting consumer privacy.
To address the issue of bias in AI tools, the executive order provides guidance to landlords and federal contractors. It specifically highlights the need to establish best practices for using AI technology in the justice system, including sentencing, risk assessments, and crime forecasting.
Recognizing the impact of AI on the job market, the order emphasizes the need for a report on the technology’s effects on work practices. It also calls for the establishment of a National AI Research Resource to provide information to students and researchers, as well as technical assistance for small businesses. The government has already initiated the hiring of AI professionals in various roles.
Furthermore, the executive order expresses the administration’s commitment to expanding grants for AI research in areas such as climate change.
White House deputy chief of staff Bruce Reed praised the order, describing it as the strongest set of actions any government in the world has ever taken on AI safety, security, and trust. Navrina Singh, founder of Credo AI, also welcomed the move, highlighting the government’s prioritization of AI.
The implementation of the executive order is expected to progress over the next year, according to officials.
In summary, President Biden’s executive order on AI aims to establish safety standards, protect consumer rights, prevent malicious use, address bias, evaluate healthcare practices, and expand AI research grants. It reflects the administration’s commitment to ensuring the safety, equity, and trustworthiness of AI technologies.